This summer I was missing homemade bread, because I wasn’t willing to turn my oven on. I decided to try the flatbread recipes I normally make (pizza and Focaccia bread) on a grill.
Che bello! They came out beautifully. After all, before modern ovens, people made flatbreads on an open fire. (For more on flatbreads see Fantastic Flatbreads.)
We needn’t buy packaged flatbreads when we can make them easily, cheaply and quickly at home with a few simple ingredients. During the heat of summer, grilling is the obvious alternative to an oven. Most grills have a temperature gauge. Just be sure your grill is very hot at least 400 degrees.
Flatbreads vary in size, shape, and texture. You’re the chef, so add the ingredients your family loves! Get your kids involved in the process as well. Making flatbreads is a great multi-sensory learning experience and picky eaters take “ownership” of the food they help to prepare.
Jan tastes a Pine Nut Flatbread cooked on a grill.
You’ll want to try one of the recipes below and start a tradition to be passed down through the generations of your family.
Basic Flatbread Recipe
3½ cups flour
Scant tablespoon or one package dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons honey
Optional: 3 tablespoons coconut or olive oil
Preheat oven or grill to 450 degrees
1. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. (Optional add the coconut or olive oil.)
2. Dissolve the honey and yeast in 1¼ cups warm water. Gradually add the water to the bowl. Mix to form a soft dough, but not too sticky. Knead for about 5 minutes.
3. Cover the bowl and let stand in a warm place until doubled in size.
4. Gently punch the air out of the dough. Divide the dough into eight pieces and roll out with a rolling pin into flat round or oval shares.
5. Place the flatbreads on a baking stone or oven tray.
6. Cook in preheated oven or grill for 6 – 8 minutes until lightly browned.
(You can cook this on a hot griddle as well.)
Pine Nut Flatbread
To the Basic Flatbread Recipe Add:
2 teaspoons fennel seeds (Fennel seeds have a slightly licorice flavor.)
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
4 tablespoons pine nuts
To the Basic Flatbread Recipe Add:
1 tablespoon dried herbs: oregano, basil, and/or rosemary
5 to 6 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
1. Divide basic flat bread recipe in two. Roll each half of the dough into a circle. Place on two stones. Push your fingertips into the dough to make indentations so that a tablespoon of olive oil drizzled will stay in the small holes.
2. Divide between both breads and place on top of the dough:
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon oregano
½ teaspoon each: garlic, salt and pepper
Optional: Top with 1 small can drained sliced black olives, sliced red onions, and/or sun dried tomatoes. For Rosemary Focaccia add 3 sprigs fresh rosemary and 2/3 cup mozzarella cheese.
3. This recipe does not need to rise. Bake at 450 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.
Griddle Flat Bread
This easy flat bread recipe makes a delicious side dish to any meal. Griddle Flat Bread can be used for making pita sandwiches, quick individual pizzas topped with marinara sauce and cheese or cut in half and stuffed with your favorite fillings.
3 cups flour
1 cup ice water
3 tablespoons coconut oil
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking powder (less at high altitude)
pinch of baking soda
1. Combine all ingredients and form into a soft dough.
2. Cut into 5 to 8 equal pieces. Roll out to a thin 8 inch circle.
3. Prick the surface of the dough with a fork and cook on an oiled hot griddle. Turn with a spatula. Watch these flat bread disks closely because they cook fast. Serve warm.